Jessica Jerome becomes first female ski jumper to qualify for Olympics

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PARK CITY — Sunday was a historic day in Park City as Jessica Jerome became the first-ever woman ski jumper to earn a spot in the Winter Olympic Games.

It was a day 12 years in the making as the female athletes fought for a chance to compete on the world stage. Women's Ski Jumping will be a medal event in the Olympic Games for the first time in Sochi.

Sunday's final Olympic qualifier secured the spot for one of them.

It was a day full with heart pounding action and record setting crowds.

The event drew more than 5,000 people. Organizers said Utah Olympic parks have not been as packed as they were Sunday since the 2002.

For Deedee Corradini, Women's Ski Jumping Association president, it's a day she's been hoping for, for years.

"I knew these women were being discriminated had to be fixed," Corradini said.

That fix meant leading the charge in a lawsuit against the international Olympic committee, plaintiffs Lindsey Van and Jessica Jerome became the face of the fight. The pair was the last of the competitors to jump Sunday.

In the end only two points separated the women who fought so hard to be included in the Winter Olympic Games.

"I'm still shaking.... I'll let my parents cry for me," Jerome said after winning the qualifier.

Now Jerome looks ahead to a guaranteed spot in the Olympic Games in Sochi.

"I haven't wrapped my head around it...we're so excited," Jerome said.

Now that she's secured her spot, she's excited to just focus on her role as an athlete, and building the sport around the world.

"I get to pursue my dreams...not everyone is able to do that," Jerome said.


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Ashley Kewish


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